So last Monday Alice set off for the Greek island of Zakynthos, or some of you may know it as Zante! My first trip abroad of the year and my first ‘beach’ holiday in years (we tend to do a lot more city breaks). We have been to the Greek islands a couple of times with friends and many times with family. Zakynthos is one of the islands that we have never visited so this was a whole new experience. I was once again travelling with some old friends and we couldn’t wait to see the sun (especially after the cold spell we had in the UK) and relax.
We stayed in the north-east of the island in the Tsivili region. Zakynthos is known for its beaches, and it doesn’t disappoint. The main town of Tsivili is sweet, it has a range of restaurants, bars and mini golf (YAS!) It’s not a roaring, all guns blazing kind of place but its busy enough, even when we went early on in the season.
The Lesante Hotel and Spa is where we decided to book for our stay, a 5 star hotel with pool, spa (obviously) and less than five minutes to the beach. I can not recommend this hotel more; Upon arrival we were given a free glass of prosecco each and given a small tour of the hotel before going to our room. All the staff were so friendly and accommodating, all of them willing to have a chat with us and give us any advice that we needed through out our stay. I have to say a special thanks to Alex who really made our stay amazing. Every morning at breakfast he would come and say “hi” and see how we were doing and have a laugh. If you guys go, you will probably meet him! Seriously one of the best hotels and customer service that I have ever experienced; which only helped with our relaxation!
On our arrival we had amazing weather but this didn’t last long. Our first few days it rained and we really though we had brought the weather from home with us, because we had gone early in the season this was a risk but even the locals were saying that this was the weirdest weather for May. This didn’t stop us from exploring though, we walked along the local beach and through the neighbouring town.
After these first couple of days however we had the most glorious sunshine! This meant we could finally have some real-time by the pool and read, listen to podcasts and (because we are so cool) help each other with logic problems (uncool before uncool was cool). After spending a few days in Tsivili town we decided to take a trip to Zakynthos town, if you can’t tell, this is the main town on the island. Here there is a selection of lovely restaurants, bars and shops as well as a great walk along the edge of the harbour which has some amazing views. Our first night visiting the town I had the most amazing swordfish at Alektor! (I find that Greece really does do the most amazing seafood, because it’s so fresh.) If you are ever in Zakynthos Town you should also check out Solomos Square, the building is beautiful and the view over the harbour is pretty impressive too.
One of the most recommended things to do on the island is to visit Shipwreck beach, so we obviously had to take a trip! We booked with Golden Dolphin tours the day before and they were able to collect us from the local shop near our hotel. Rather than take us to Zakynthos Town like so many of the tours they took us to Alykes which is much closer, making the boat trip shorter. We decided to do a half day trip which visited Shipwreck Beach, the Blue Caves and Xigia.
It took us around 50 minutes to get to shipwreck beach and we were the first of the boats to get there, because we had taken the morning boat the sun wasn’t quite all the way on the beach but it did slowly come over the cliffs edge. The beach itself is very stoney so be sure to take some good sandals. The water was just amazing. I’ve never seen water so blue or so clear! It was freezing though, we popped in for a dip and could only get about waist deep. The shipwreck itself is amazing, you really can’t get the scale of it in pictures. Lots of boat trips come to this beach so be aware that it fills up very quickly and lots of people start posing infant of the ship and even climbing on it (which I wouldn’t recommend as it’s basically falling apart!) While we were on the beach a couple came on a private boat as they were having their wedding ceremony on the beach (DREAMMMMM), everyone started clapping for them as they made their way along the stretch of the beach.
After our hour at the beach the boat then started taking us back by stopping off at the blue caves, again the water is just incredible. You can see all the way to the bottom of the turquoise waters. We even had a chance to have a dip as the boat stopped. The water was FREEZING, it literally took our breath away. It was beautiful to swim in though, such beautiful clean water, I was even able to see fish swimming underneath me.
On our way back we also stopped to have a dip near Xigia beach. Near Xigia there is a natural spring which is meant to be really good for the body as it carries extra collagen (we were told its good for your bones, skin and general health) however it also smelt of rotten egg, so why not have a dip here! In comparison to the blue caves water it was a lot warmer. It was still really cold but as you moved around you could feel the heat from the springs beneath which was pretty cool!
We pretty much spent the rest of our time relaxing next to the pool. I managed to finish two books too which I’m super happy about. This trip was amazing and I can’t wait to go on another relaxing holiday. It made me fall in love with Greece all over again and I’m now dying to go back (having a serious case of holiday blues here guys.) I would definitely revisit Zakynthos, I feel like I’ve only seen one small part of the island. When I come back I would love to do a trip to Turtle bay and see wild sea turtles, that would be amazing! And as typical Brit as it sounds I would like to experience Lagana, which is where all the people we met said we should have a night out in. I just want to see what they are all on about!
Have you guys ever been to Zakynthos? Can you recommend anywhere for the next time we go?